Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day trippers - Destination Frankfort

We are out of school for SPRING BREAK (!!!) this week and ventured out for a day trip to our state capital - Frankfort. We had a great time although I think the boys believe I need a GPS for future trips! I have to admit, it was hard having to read directions, drive AND look for road signs all at once by myself!
Getting to Frankfort was easy, but it was about a 90 minute drive. Once we were headed in the right direction, we passed the Scenic Overlook. I had to turn around to get back to it. The view of hte Capitol Building was beautiful.
Our first stop was to the Rebecca Ruth Candy Factory. Bourbon Balls just might be my favorite candy, so I was excited about doing their candy tour. Unfortunately, we arrived after they were finished making candy for the day (they have no real schedule for that - just make it as needed), but we still got to do their tour. It's actually in a house! They've been making candy since 1919. After our candy sampling - bourbon balls for me and peanut butter eggs for the boys - we navigated our way to Frankfort Cemetary. Our boys are huge history buffs and were excited to see Daniel Boone's grave. (Although Blake tells me that "half of Daniel Boone" is actually buried in Missouri.) The view from the cemetary was amazing.Here are the boys sportin' some 'coon skin hats like Daniel Boone's in the Rebecca Ruth gift shop! Our next stop was at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The large sun dial memorial is set up is amazing. (Click on link to read more about it.)
Next on our driving tour schedule was the Old Governor's Mansion. Kevin was a bit disappointed and commented that it just looked like a big house. He was right. There is a lot of history behind it though. We pulled up to the curb, looked and drove on.

From there, we experienced some of Frankfort's one way streets. I managed to find the next stop on our list - The Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History. The driving tour instructions stated that parking was across the street, so I pulled in the lost ACROSS THE STREET. It was a private lot with signs posted everyone. It was also a TINY lot and it was very difficult to navigate back out of the lot! I received some comments from the backseat.
We finally found parking across the street and BESIDE the Clark Center only to find out that the center isn't open on Tuesdays. Right next door was the Capital City Museum. It was open and FREE! The boys enjoyed it. Part of the museum is in what is left of the old Capital Hotel. We had heard a bit about it and how it burned down during our Rebecca Ruth tour.
The boys especially liked the displays of the Civil War and both World Wars. My boys really know their war history!They even had sand on display from the beaches of Normandy.
By this time, we were all getting hungry. I had searched for lunch spots online and one place with Memphis-style BBQ caught my eye. The reviews said the food was great, but if you weren't familiar with the place, you'd likely keep going after seeing the spot. Once I read that Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives hosted by Guy Fieri had filmed there a few weeks ago, I knew the boys would love this spot.
The trouble was getting there...the map I had didn't have "Bridge Street" on it. So, after circling around the area I thought it was in, I finally called them. They gave me directions and two lights away from my turn, I thanked them. I made my turn and PASSED up the Diner! There was no turn before the bridge, so I thought I'd cross the bridge and turn around. I crossed the bridge to find the opposite lane blocked with firetrucks and police cars. ??? I couldn't turn around and was forced into the path of one-way roads and back around to a different bridge to cross the river (again). Ten minutes later, we finally arrived at Rick's White Light Diner. The place was small! There were three tables inside with a total of then chairs and then 6 or 7 stools along the bar. We ate at the bar and all tried the BBQ. It was good. Kevin loved the sauce. The sides were limted and both my mac & cheese and cole slaw were too peppery (whole peppercorns). I wasn't too thrilled to pay $2 for a CAN of coke.The boys loved it, so I guess in a way I was paying for the experience. My favorite part of our stop was the fried Oreos. They are dipped in their homemade pancake batter and deepfried. We each had one (see photo below). Yum!Before leaving, the owner, Rick Paul posed for a photo with the boys. He even let them walk around behind the bar. After lunch, I used the map and my memory from last November to find our way to Buffalo Trace Distillery. We attended my cousin's (evening) wedding there in November and have wanted to go back for a tour and to see the grounds during the day ever since. The distillery is in a beautiful location and we had a really interesting tour. You might think taking two boys to a distillery is odd, but we do live in the heart of Bourbon Country, so it's something they need to experience at least once! It was very informative and we had a great guide, too.At the end of the tour when I got to sample bourbon, the boys sampled Root Beer!
By the time our tour was over, our time in Frankfort was running out. (I had to get Blake home in time for Boy Scouts!) We headed back to the Capitol to tour the grounds and along the way were supposed to pass Berry Hill Mansion, Orlando Brown House, and Liberty Hall Historic Site. I never saw them though. However, I kept wondering how we missed the Old Capital Building, but then realized we'd been driving by it all day (when I'd "loop" around). It wasn't near as big as I was expecting it to be!
We arrived at the Capitol just after 5:00. Our timing was perfect in that there wasn't a crowd and the trees and flowers were all in bloom. And beautiful.Our timing was bad in that it was AFTER 5:00 and we couldn't get in to see the Rotunda and statue of Abraham Lincoln that the boys "really" wanted to see.
So, instead, I showed them the Floral Clock out back. The boys weren't as impressed with it as I was the first time I saw it in high school. Then again, when I was in high school, I hadn't experienced 1/10th of the cool things our boys have gotten to do. The clock was decorated with blue pinwheels in honor of Child Abuse Awareness.It was time to head home and on our way out, I captured one last shot of the Capitol with the tulips in bloom out front. The boys were happy when I found my way out of town without having to turn around at all!

That's not all we did on spring break...check back later!


Amanda Profumo said...

Amy- love all your spring break pics... the top one of you and your boys is wonderful!
Bourbon balls are my fave too! Yum! Enjoy the last of the week!

Melanie said...

WOW! You visited A LOT of places in one day! I'm so glad you were happy with the trip. Times like these are some of a kid's favorite memories. :)

Lindsey said...

Wow that sounds like a BUSY day! But sooo fun! I love history too so I really enjoy going to museums and historic sites! Great pictures too!